Streep, Clooney … Cruise? Why no one is ‘too big for TV’ any more

Hollywood stars used to turn their noses up at television, but now Meryl Streep and George Clooney are stealing the show in your living room. Who might join them next? There have been plenty of surprises concerning Meryl Streep joining Big Little Lies. First, there was the Streep Scream, an earth-shattering howl that launched 1,000 memes. Second, there has been her performance as a whole: sometimes Deirdre Barlow channelling Willy Wonka; sometimes a less considered Mrs Doubtfire. Yet for many watchers, the main surprise remains that were seeing Streep on TV at all. With her three Oscars, Streep is the queen of Hollywoods old guard, the kind of film icon who at one time would never have done telly. She …

War at home: how Big Little Lies deftly dissects domestic violence

In the second season of the HBO drama, a nuanced depiction of surviving a violent marriage artfully evokes a form of PTSD Big Little Lies is a beautiful show about ugly secrets. Based on the novel by Liane Moriarty, the show centers around the lives of five very different women in Monterey, California, who are connected through a murder. Since its first season, the show has been celebrated for its gorgeous cinematography, deft storytelling and excellent acting. Though the show explores many forms of deception, from white lies to infidelity, its nuanced look at the ways that domestic violence can remain hidden from public view is one of the series most important additions to the cultural conversation. On the surface …

Laura Dern: ‘I feel like Im ready to try anything and to dive deeper

Laura Dern decided to become an actor when she was just six. But its only now, with 55 films under her belt and as Big Little Lies returns to our screens, that she really feels free to try anything To hear her mother tell it, its a miracle that Laura Dern exists at all. In the early 1960s Diane Ladd and her then husband, Bruce Dern, suffered an excruciating loss when their 18-month-old daughter drowned. The trauma was not just emotional but physical, and doctors told her that she would be unable have another child. But they were wrong, and the proof was Dern. One confounded doctor travelled to the hospital to witness the miracle child. From her home in …